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LETTERS FROM WAKE ROBIN FARM

Kind Words for My Memoir: Wedding in Yangshuo

The main thing I miss about being published by Random House and other mainline publishers is having my books automatically reviewed in all the important places: Kirkus, Publisher's Weeky, and Booklist.  Because I always got great ones!  And they were widely publicized for book buyers to read.  I can get nostalgic thinking of those times my NYC editor called in excitement because "our" book had received a starred review in Publisher's Weekly or a diamond in Kirkus.

 

So yeah, I miss that.  Because you cannot get a self-published book reviewed. I tried mightily with Accidental Addict.  Nada.  So I didn't bother with Wedding in Yangshuo, except to send it to the Writer's Digest Self-Published Book Awards, knowing that even if it didn't win, I might get a bit of a positive "blurb" out of the promised critique.

 

So here it is, a slightly condensed version of the flattering comments written by an actual human being entirely unknown to me who read and liked my book and gave it top ratings in all six categories: 

 

"Gorgeous realism and reflection. Well done. Author excels at illustrating settings, and breathing sensory details into them. Dialogue is fresh and natural….fascinating elements of Chinese culture and the bride's family's values.  Pace is lovely, as the author's instinct for structuring the story shines, and we spend just the right amount of time in each scene. There are no lulls in the middle, as can sometimes affect narrative. Such a lovely exploration into another culture, tied together with unforgettable interactions, questions about cultural norms and history, parental hope and optimism.  Author's writing voice has great energy and positivity, and she has devoted great time and care to enlivening and layering all other characters as well. Beautiful crafting."….Judge, 25th Annual Writer's Digest Self-Published Book Awards

 

It's very nice for me to read this.  Maybe I should get the Award for Best Review of a Book Ultimately Read by the Fewest Number of People!

 

 

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Wedding in Yangshuo

Happy New Year! My computer crashed for good just before Christmas, so I have been unable to post updates until now.

Wedding in Yangshuo is now available in both paperback and ebook formats from all the various on-line platforms. A sale directly from BookBaby directs the portion of the price which would have gone to Amazon directly to me, which is nice, although, at the moment, Amazon is offering my title for a low sales price.

If you're lucky enough to live in Corvallis, Oregon, you can walk right into our wonderful independent, Grass Roots Books, and pick up a copy off the new paperbacks table. If you don't see it, please ask. Read More 
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Wedding in Yangshuo

Once upon a time at Wake Robin Farm in Oregon, I was miraculously pregnant with our first child.

That same summer, on the Li River in Southern China, a pretty woman exactly my age was also expecting. She and her husband were both artists.

Our child, born in August, was a son. Theirs, born in October, a daughter.

Twenty-two years later these children, now grown, would meet in Beijing.

The girl from Yangshuo had been studying English.

Our son, traveling with a university program, was rapidly become proficient in both Mandarin and Cantonese.

These two could talk to each other.

They could fall in love.

And did.

This is their story.

And ours.

Everything in this book actually happened, even the lovely, fateful coincidences.

Especially those........


So begins my new memoir, which is just out as an ebook and will be available as a paperback shortly. For readers of Children of the River, now in print almost twenty-nine years, Wedding in Yangshuo can be read almost as a companion book, as it explains the inspiration for the YA novel, and shows how deeply impacted the future of my life was by its research, writing, and publication.

For everybody else, my memoir is simply the story of my writing life, my marriage, and the life-changing trip my husband and I took to Yangshuo, trying to carry the family flag as our son married a girl from this most scenic corner of China.  Read More 
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